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Posted: August 24, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through August 21, 2021.

According to the data, 220,843 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of just over 1.9 percent from the 216,592 cases previously reported on August 17.

Altogether, 2,738,967 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of about 1.2 percent from four days prior.

Since mid-October of 2020, the IHS has been providing additional information about the spread of the coronavirus within the system. The cumulative percent positive column shows the historical COVID-19 infection rate, meaning the number of tests that have returned positive since the onset of the pandemic.

Based on the cumulative percent positive, the highest rates have been seen in five areas. Two of them include the state of Arizona, indicating a disproportionate toll of COVID-19 in the state:

The 7-day rolling average positivity column offers a more contemporary look at the impact of the coronavirus. The data shows where COVID-19 cases have been increasing recently.

Based on the 7-day rolling average positivity, 10 areas (out of 12 IHS areas) are seeing higher COVID-19 rates. They follow:

Notably, the 7-day rolling average positivity for the Alaska Area has steadily grown in recent weeks. The region recorded its highest-ever rate with the release of data on August 14, beating the record set on August 10. Throughout most of the pandemic, the Alaska Area had seen the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases within the IHS.

Overall, 8.6 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average stands at 10.6 percent following a long period of far lower rates in the spring of 2021.

The data, however, is incomplete. While 100 percent of facilities run directly by the IHS are reporting data, only 33 percent of tribally managed facilities and 44 percent of urban Indian organizations are doing the same, the agency has told Indianz.Com.

Beginning June 7, the IHS began updating its coronavirus data on a weekly basis. But as the number of COVID-19 cases grows again, the agency is releasing results on Mondays and Thursdays. During the height of the pandemic throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, results were provided every day.

COVID-19 Cases by IHS Area

Data are reported from IHS, tribal, and urban Indian organization facilities, though reporting by tribal and urban programs is voluntary. Data reflect cases reported to the IHS through 11:59 pm on August 21, 2021.

 
IHS Area
 
 
Tested
 
 
Positive
 
 
Negative
 
Cumulative
percent
positive
7-day rolling
average
positivity
Alaska 708,375 14,930 601,812 2.4% 4.9%
Albuquerque 106,573 8,586 76,904 10.0% 3.3%
Bemidji 186,372 12,584 170,842 6.9% 10.1%
Billings 108,948 7,695 97,891 7.3% 5.9%
California 102,569 9,937 88,345 10.1% 11.7%
Great Plains 161,584 14,854 146,215 9.2% 5.0%
Nashville 95,563 7,689 86,431 8.2% 11.2%
Navajo 290,475 34,123 206,841 14.2% 8.2%
Oklahoma City 607,278 73,448 530,239 12.2% 17.4%
Phoenix 194,437 24,543 169,067 12.7% 11.5%
Portland 143,220 9,430 133,340 6.6% 6.3%
Tucson 33,573 3,024 30,408 9.0% 6.8%
TOTAL 2,738,967 220,843 2,338,335 8.6% 10.6%

COVID-19 testing data is updated on Mondays and Thursdays.

Source: Indian Health Service (https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus)

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